Vol. 2 | Chapter One: Kashan Castle (iv)

The heavens were filled with stars, as if the gods themselves had spilled an enormous chest of jewels into the night sky…


Notes under the cut:

1. Hojir’s dialogue is as annoying to translate as the man himself — not only is he obviously really chatty (worse than Narses in lecture mode!), he uses extremely smarmy overblown keigo that not even the more genuinely respectful characters use. Even Gurgin and co. were more subdued in their formality…

2. “take the lead”: literally he says take the bit, but that’s awkward in English. I considered “take the reins” or an even looser “escort your mount” (this option flows best) but he’s kind of being “subtle” here. It may amuse you to note that the Chinese has a really bizarre interpretation of this line — he asks for a horseshoe as a reward for his subordinates. lol…?

3. Nakir is referring to an Islamic angel. Arslan universe is a little weird in that although the Parsian religion is basically RL Zoroastrian and they are culturally pre-Islamic, they do seem to believe in “angels.” And of all of these figures, only Sorush (this name comes up later) is actually a Zoroastrian deity reworked as an angel. To be fair, this isn’t completely ridiculous because there definitely was a lot of cross-cultural influence even before the Muslim conquest, and this is probably one of the less peculiar anachronisms/handwaves present in the universe.

For the record, Nakir is translated in text as “問罪天使”, which is pretty literally “Angel of Judgment.” (Or even more literally “the angel who asks you about your sins.”) So not quite the same as the RL figure.

I’m not quite sure if I’m parsing Dariun’s final taunt correctly though, but it involves wordplay on betraying/being betrayed. (The Chinese made no attempt at this.)

… Anyway, just a heads-up but I’m running out of buffer again. April is very likely going to have inconsistent updates, but we’ll see.


5 thoughts on “Vol. 2 | Chapter One: Kashan Castle (iv)

  1. M.A.KH says:

    thanks for update
    happy new year
    with best wishes

  2. M.A.KH says:

    well i guess the word “framatar” is ancient form of modern “Farmandar”(فرماندار) which means “the one he who have order”.
    hope it helps. 🙂

  3. doso says:

    thanks for the chapter and your hard work!
    just a small question… I’m assuming you have read the majority of the series… how much of the whole series is based off parsian history/religion/mythology… whichever one it is… seems like there is so much info in regards to the notes you have after each chapter!

    • T. E. Waters says:

      Believe it or not, I haven’t actually read ahead that far! Which is probably not ideal for translating, but I find it more fun that way. 😛 What I usually do is I’ll read about 2-3 sections ahead of what I’m translating to make sure I don’t make any obvious contextual errors, and I’ve skimmed through future books out of curiosity too, but other than being aware of certain major plot points the majority of my knowledge is limited to the old OVAs, the reader’s guide, and stuff I picked up from the Japanese wiki entries.

      From what I can tell, all Parsian names are taken from RL Persian history/culture (many of them from the Shahnameh or the Avesta). The terms vary — quite a lot of them are actually Arabic or have unknown sources that I haven’t been able to track down. Most of the political/religious stuff is pretty accurate from what I can tell, but Tanaka definitely takes a lot of artistic license too, especially with the other nations. Overall I would say the series leans closer to history than fantasy on the spectrum of historical fantasy — what he does mostly is to play fast and loose with the time period, but he’s otherwise pretty meticulous about keeping the overall setting/cultural details consistent and as “realistic” as possible despite the magical elements. Every “foreign” element he includes has some sort of actual basis; I don’t think there’s anything purely made up by him.

      As for the storyline — much of the plot of “Part One” seems to be inspired by the Amir Arsalan legend, but “Part Two” veers into a more classic sort of heroic fantasy plotline (very Shahnameh-inspired though imo), though the grittier political aspects are still there too.

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